Let me take a selfie

IMG_0480If you take a photo of yourself in the forest, and no one is there to see it, did it really happen?

I am baffled by the selfie. There’s something disturbing about capturing every moment of your life in a still. Especially when some of them make you look…well, unattractive.

My kids take selfies constantly. Most of them are cute and charming. (It helps to be a 90-pound teen with clear skin and only one chin.) But they’ll also willingly post pictures of themselves at their least attractive moments, where everyone they know will see them. And they don’t even care!

Well I, myself, care. I have spent the better part of my adult life trying to destroy unattractive photos of myself. This is no small effort in the days where everyone has a camera and is not afraid to use it.

I come from a long line of unphotogenic women. (I don’t think I’m saying anything my familial readers don’t know, but I apologize anyway for airing our genetic laundry.) We are camera-shy. There are so few pictures of us you’d think we’d descended from an all-male line.

My kids, fortunately, take after their father. He is annoyingly photogenic. You can shoot a picture of him after he’s spent a 90-degree day clearing brush, and he won’t even look shiny. For a while, his Facebook profile showed him shortly after a rugby injury. He looked handsome, healthy, and rugged – even though he’s bleeding from the eye. The nerve.

Selfies require skill I don’t have. Maybe my arms aren’t long enough. My selfies all look like they were taken by an ear, nose, and throat doctor. I’m trapped in a vicious circle – it takes some practice to take a good selfie, but I don’t want to practice. I don’t want to look at pictures of myself. If I were being interrogated, I would tell you anything to make you stop showing me unattractive pictures of myself. And they wouldn’t be very hard to come by.

On a recent vacation, while attempting to take a photo of my daughter on her phone, I took a selfie of my nether-regions. “Nice crotch shot, mama,” she said lovingly when she came across it. Snarky, but at least she didn’t post it anywhere.

Sadly, it was one of my better selfies. I actually considered saving it.

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13 thoughts on “Let me take a selfie

  1. I think it’s wonderful that your kids have such confidence, mine are the same way. I am awful at taking selfies. I always end up cutting me or someone else out of the shot. I’m only 5ft tall so I have short arms and it just doesn’t work. I post them anyway. I figure it like this, if I post the very worst possible shots of me then when folks meet me face to face they will be pleasantly surprised at the improvement. Hee hee, it was worked well so far.

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  2. I also come from an unphotogenic line of ancestors. Selfies are odd, don’t quite understand them. I go for dinner with friends now and all they want to do is take selfies. Very few of us are oil paintings. Gosh I sound like a right party pooper!

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  3. I only tolerated photos on my wedding day because I had to. It’s written. Somewhere. But I hate having mine taken. Something in my brain freezes and my features end up contorted in some strange grimaces. Post them? No chance! When I’ve accidentally managed a selfie that captures the best of me – not my crotch! – it’s saved to remind myself that cameras don’t always lie. My only consolation is that the real ug shots cause untold mirth in my family but they are threatened with homelessness if they dare post them to public. A woman has her pride. And a rather strange one-eyed contortion going on when visited by a lens.

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    • That is me, too! I once had a coworker share pictures from a wedding we’d both been to. He had a picture of me so awful, so Quasimodo-esque, that I immediately demanded, “Give it to me.” Then I destroyed it. I’m fortunate that he was intimidated enough to comply.

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